MAGNETIC REFRAIN

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About Me

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I am a poet, scholar and teacher who teaches creative writing and college composition in Los Angeles. As a Korean-American adoptee, my creative and scholarly work reflect an ongoing interest to explore the emotional and historical aspects of the Korean diaspora as well as transnational adoption.  Previously, I collaborated on avante-garde music and art projects with composers and visual artists. I have advanced degrees in poetry, (M.F.A. degree in poetry, 2002 and M.A. in Literature, 2010) and a Ph.D. degree in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California (2012).  My first book of poetry, Magnetic Refrain, was published in February 2013 by Kaya Press. I am currently completing a second book, lyrical and narrative poems Until Qualified For Pearl and a non-fiction critical book about adoption narratives in literature and film.

I’m excited to report my new and upcoming collaboration project with artist Yumi Sakugawa, comic book extraordinaire for The Rumpus and recently published author of the illustrated book, I think I am in Friend-Love With You, that looks at the subtleties of a platonic friendship.

In the recent past, I have collaborated with the visual artist, Deborah Martin, on her new series, “Back of Beyond,” beautiful paintings based on imagery set in The Wonder Valley, where she is currently residing. My poetry series, still ongoing, accompanied her art exhibit this past fall at the George Billis Gallery in Culver City, CA.  Quintan Ana Wikswo has said of Martin, “Painter Deborah Martin has established a compelling dominion as portraitist of an archaic America – ravaged sites and forgotten wastelands that nonetheless resist destruction. Her luminous paintings and photographs reveal the beauty in the bleak, and speak to the tenuous balance between home, depravation, isolation, community and hope.”

As a lyricist and enthusiastic noraebang singer, I have also collaborated with the composer, musician and Hong Kong native, Alan Chan, writing lyrics to accompany his original music.  One of our collaborations, an art song set to classical music, “Without a Trail to Lace” won First Place for the 2008 PAS competition.  It is available on HoneyRock, to purchase as sheet music.

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